Travel Reference
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bats, will be driven back to their dark caves by the rising sun of Mexican education, and even
in golden letters in the history of Mexico, as the father of education, a road builder, and an
enemy of moral oppression.
The trail led through vast and imposingly wild valleys, or again along precipitous and
springs are exploited. I had been very unwell and feverish for the last two days, and feared
another attack of malaria. The local military commander called on me and told me he had re-
ceived orders to give me an escort, but informed me that as he expected trouble at any time he
the hoop. When I enquired about bandits he said that some had been active lately and that a
few people had been killed by them. He left it to me to decide about the escort, and after I had
debated the chances with him I thought his plan of travelling alone would be the safer, and as
things turned out I was not molested at any time. Terrified villagers told me that the warning I
hadbeengivenwasbynomeans anexaggeration, foronlythenightbeforeIcame toacertain
village bandits had raided it, looting firearms, money and food.
My fears about malaria had not been misplaced, for I was now very sick and weakened by
lack of sleep. It is bad enough to be down with this fever in a comfortable bed with medicines
or in any hut where one might be given food and shelter, malaria soon weakens the system. I
I had not slept for two nights, and even the roots of my hair hurt when I touched my head; a
certain sign when one is really bad with malarial fever. However, in spite of all this, there was
if I had been attacked. Everything I did was mechanical; thinking had ceased, and I plodded
along without observing things around me. Luckily I soon improved a little and when I came
to the mesa I began to take a new interest in life.
These parts are very different from anything I had seen before. Rolling, sandy stretches
spread before the eye, with cactus plants and a variety of palm bushes growing in abundance.
In the distance the snow-covered volcano Orizaba made the most beautiful background ima-
ginable. The sky is clear and of a deep blue, and marvellous cloud effects of rare delicacy of
colour make Mexican skies unforgettable.
Ourarrival hadbeenexpected inTepeaca whereIwasgiventhefirstrealtaste ofapopular
reception. Ill and tired as Iwas, Idid not wish to disappoint the people, and although Ihad the
sensation of watching a flickering moving picture of the early days, I tried hard to act as if I
were enjoying myself. When it came to eating I could not face the ordeal, and had to admit
that I was not well. A glass of brandy and quinine was all I felt like taking; alcohol to stimu-
late, and quinine as medicine.
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